On Wednesday, I had an Aggravated Domestic Battery
case that was set for trial at the Kane County Courthouse in St. Charles. This was a case that had been going on for well over a year that had numerous hearings and many developments. My client was already on felony probation in Kane County so he was looking at a Violation of Probation
if he lost this case and was found guilty. The state offered my client 3 years in prison for the Aggravated Domestic Battery and for the Violation of Probation. Since the client was innocent of the charges, we would not agree to plead guilty and we forced the state to bring the matter to trial. As we were walking into the courtroom to begin the trial, the state dismissed the charges against my client.
What’s the Difference Between a Battery and an Aggravated Domestic Battery?
You can be charged with a Domestic Battery 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2
if you make physical contact with a family member of an insulting or provoking nature, or if physical harm to the family member results from the Battery
. In other words, you do not have to physically harm the family member in order to be charged with a Domestic Battery. An example of a Domestic Battery in which there is no physical harm is if you spit in the face of your spouse or family member. Since this would be contact of an insulting or provoking nature, this could be the basis of a Domestic Battery charge even though there was no physical harm to anyone. A family member can also be a current or former spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend. A Domestic Battery is a Class A Misdemeanor in Illinois which carries a maximum penalty of one-year in county jail and a maximum fine of up to $2,500. What makes a Domestic Battery an especially serious Misdemeanor charge is that if you are found guilty of a Domestic Battery, the minimum sentence that you can receive will be Conditional Discharge. You cannot receive Court Supervision for a Domestic Battery, which would allow you to avoid a conviction on your criminal record. A conviction for a Domestic Battery cannot be expunged or sealed. This means that the Domestic Battery conviction will remain on your criminal record for the rest of your life.
An Aggravated Domestic Battery 720 ILCS 5/12-3.3
is a Class 2 Felony in Illinois. You can be charged with an Aggravated Domestic Battery if the Domestic Battery to the family member resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to the victim of the Battery. Another way that you can be charged with an Aggravated Domestic Battery is if strangulation was involved. If you do anything that cuts off the oxygen to the victim, for even a split-second, this could be the basis of a criminal charge for Aggravated Domestic Battery. Since Aggravated Domestic Battery is a Class 2 Felony, it carries a potential prison sentence of 3 to 7 years. You can receive probation for an aggravated domestic battery however, if you are found guilty of an Aggravated Domestic Battery, you must serve a continuous 60-day jail sentence. The continuous 60-day jail sentence is mandatory under Illinois Law. The 60-day continuous jail sentence cannot be waived by any judge or any prosecutor. The 60-day continuous jail sentence cannot be replaced by community service or by payment of a fine.
My client called his ex-girlfriend to make arrangements to have his personal property picked up at her house. My client and the ex-girlfriend had been living together at the ex-girlfriend's house for several months before they broke up. When they broke up, my client left the home without retrieving all of his personal property. When he spoke to her on the morning of this incident, he told her that three of his friends would be coming to the house to pick up his personal property. My client did not want to go to her house because he was afraid that he would get into an argument with the ex-girlfriend. The client was on probation for a drug case in Kane County and did not want to risk having the police called and getting arrested. When the friends arrived at the ex-girlfriend's residence, they knocked on the door and she did not answer. They called the defendant to let him know that nobody was home. My client drove to the residence so that he could assist his friends in getting his personal belongings. When my client arrived at the ex-girlfriend's house, the ex-girlfriend exited the house and began arguing with my client.
The ex-girlfriend claimed that my client was questioning her about a gun that he had left behind her garage. After a short time, the ex-girlfriend and my client entered his vehicle and drove to the friend’s house. The three friends followed my client's vehicle back to their apartment. On the way, they stopped at a convenience store to pick up a 12-case of beer. According to the ex-girlfriend, when she went into the apartment, my client began to physically abuse her. The ex-girlfriend claims that my client punched her several times and kicked her several times. On at least two instances she claims that he strangled her and that she was unable to breathe. She claimed that the three friends were present in the apartment building the entire time that she was being abused and that they did nothing to stop my client from beating her up. After a while, my clients ex-girlfriend claims that she was able to persuade my client to take her back home. She went back to her house in my client's vehicle and was followed by the three friends in a separate vehicle. When everyone arrived back at the ex-girlfriend's house, they were met by the ex-girlfriend's brother who was wearing a winter coat in late summer. The ex-girlfriend's brother was following my client and his friends with his hands in his pocket and was making threatening movements. My client and his friends thought that his ex-girlfriend's brother could be carrying a gun in his winter coat so they quickly left the ex-girlfriend’s house and went back to the apartment. When the ex-girlfriend went inside her house, she told her mother about the alleged physical abuse and her mother called the Elgin police. The Elgin police arrived on the scene and began searching the neighborhood looking for my client and his friends. The Elgin police even brought a couple of dogs to the location who were used to help try to find my client and his friends.
The state offered my client 3 years in prison if he plead guilty to the Aggravated Domestic Battery and to the Violation of Probation. Late last year, the state proceeded with their Petition to Revoke Probation because of this case. At the Violation of Probation hearing, I was able to show that the ex-girlfriend was able to describe the gun that she claims my client was accusing her of taking in specific detail to the police office. She was able to describe the make, model and color of the gun in detail. The state did not bring the ex-girlfriend's brother to testify. The ex-girlfriend’s brother had disappeared and we could not find him. However, I was able to introduce several pictures from the ex-girlfriend's brother's social media accounts which showed him holding and posing with a gun that looked similar to the gun that the ex-girlfriend claims my client was questioning her about. The ex-girlfriend denied that her brother had this gun but I was able to introduce these pictures into evidence. I was also able to bring to Court two of the three friends who testified about what happened at the scene and the apartment. They claimed that the ex-girlfriend was lying and that my client did not hit her nor did he strangle her at any time. The witnesses claimed that the ex-girlfriend was being loud and obnoxious in the apartment but that she was not physically abused. After hearing all of the evidence, the judge denied the state's Petition to Revoke Probation
The case was set for trial on the felony Aggravated Domestic Battery charges on Wednesday afternoon. I appeared in court ready for trial. I had ordered the transcripts of the Violation of Probation hearing, had my exhibits ready, had my two witnesses ready, and was prepared to go to trial on the case. When the case was called the state dismissed the charges against my client. Apparently, the state figured that if they were unable to prove the allegations to sustain their Petition to Revoke Probation by a preponderance of the evidence, they were unlikely to prevail on the felony Aggravated Domestic Battery charges when the burden of proof is Beyond A Reasonable Doubt. No longer facing allegations of Violation of Probation, or the felony Aggravated Domestic Battery criminal charges, the client is free to go on with his life and continue with his future.
Award-Winning Aggravated Domestic Battery Lawyer
James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, Aggravated Domestic Battery lawyer with over-27 years of experience handling Aggravated Domestic Battery cases in Chicago
, Cook County
, DuPage County
, Kane County
, and Lake County
.. Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas the "Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois," and the award for "DUI Defense Top 10." The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys gave James Dimeas the "Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois." Recently, James Dimeas was recognized by the American Society of Legal Advocates as a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois For the Years 2018, 2019, and 2020." Expertise named James Dimeas a "Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago." James Dimeas was named a "Best DUI Attorney." The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys recognized James Dimeas as a "10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction." The National Trial Lawyers named James Dimeas a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer." AVVO rates James Dimeas as "Superb,"10 out of 10, the highest rating possible for any Aggravated Domestic Battery criminal defense attorney in the United States.
If you are being charged with an Aggravated Domestic Battery you can contact
James Dimeas for a free consultation. You can always talk to James Dimeas personally
by calling him at 847-807-7405
for a confidential consultation.